The Evans campaign said the criticism is an effort by her Democratic rival, ex-House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, to “distort” the meaning of the video and that Evans will “continue to seek the vote of every Georgian who wants to bring hope back to Georgia.”
“No matter how much others may seek division for political gain, we will remain focused on bringing Georgians together to win this election and accomplish those goals,” Evans’ campaign said in a statement.
The video was created by Nick Nelson, an African-American video producer hired by the campaign who recently posted a series of comments about his work with Evans.
Evans and Abrams, who is vying to be the nation's first black female governor, are locked in a fierce battle for the party's nomination. The two have sharply competing strategies and differ on a range of policy debates, from the HOPE scholarship to Civil War monuments.
The contest has also underscored racial tensions within the state's Democratic coalition, an alliance of a growing bloc of black voters and a dwindling number of whites.
Those divisions were highlighted last year when Changa and others organized protesters at a progressive conference in Atlanta who chanted "support black women" and "trust black women" while Evans tried to speak.
Here’s the full statement from Evans’ campaign:
Stacey Evans was honored to have had the opportunity to attend the King Day celebration at Ebenezer Baptist Church this year. She has publicly celebrated the King holiday every year of her public life, including at the Cobb County NAACP's annual event and with service projects.
The Abrams campaign has decided to distort a video made by the campaign's digital company. As is usual in modern campaigns, they accompany Stacey to events so that the campaign can share our activities with the public. The digital company's camera was one of many cameras recording the service. All images and sounds come from what happened during the service, including the music and the speakers.
While the Abrams campaign is trying to divide our state, the Evans campaign will continue to seek the vote of every Georgian who wants to bring hope back to Georgia. Our campaign is about restoring the cuts to the HOPE Scholarship that were so harmful to so many working families, so that regular people have access to higher education. It is about providing universal access to early childhood education and expanding Medicaid so every Georgian has quality healthcare.
No matter how much others may seek division for political gain, we will remain focused on bringing Georgians together to win this election and accomplish those goals.